From an outsider’s perspective, the myriad ways of starting a business in the UAE can seem overwhelming. There are onshore/offshore/free zone business set-up options, various visa types, and an ever-evolving legal and regulatory landscape to navigate.
This situation has arisen from a federal-level desire to encourage international corporations and entrepreneurial individuals to create businesses in the UAE.
A large part of this economic diversification and growth plan is laid out in the legal and regulatory framework, which is developing in line with the growing digital economy and a desire to increase global homogeneity in business law and taxation.
Recent changes in the UAE include ratifying a new Commercial Companies Law, which entered into force on January 2, 2022. Analysts suggest the new law brings the UAE’s onshore business landscape closer to international best practices. Further, it underlines that the UAE is open to different types of transactions undertaken elsewhere in the world. One example is the introduction of the SPAC – Special Purpose Acquisition Company - as a valid entity form in mainland UAE and allowing the creation of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) as a separate company type. SPACs, of course, feature strongly in the M&A landscape in many jurisdictions, and we expect to see a great deal of interest in this new company type.
For the first time, a federal corporate tax is being introduced for financial years beginning on June 1, 2023, imposing a 9% levy on adjusted net profits over AED375,000. This is part of the UAE’s mission to align its legal and regulatory frameworks with the international community, driven by global tax changes and OECD calls for a global minimum tax rate.
The UAE is also liberalising and adapting regulations to accommodate a more diverse wealth community, loosening immigration rules, offering investment-linked visas and creating longer residency offerings. A significant change in recent times was the shift to allow 100% foreign ownership of businesses.
The UAE’s regulatory environment is evolving rapidly. Swiss Group has noted that around 30 to 40 laws have been redrafted during the last few years. Far-reaching changes in how business is conducted, coupled with excellent handling of the pandemic, mean the UAE continues to see a positive influx of entrepreneurs, organisations, investors and business pioneers.
While economic issues plaguing other regions make the UAE even more attractive, we have especially seen a significant shift of business interests from Asia to the UAE, driven by severe pandemic lockdown regimes.
Business set-up should, of course, be viewed holistically, through the lens of myriad factors that affect success – such as labour costs, infrastructure, property prices, taxation, and visa and employment issues.
One size most certainly does not fit all – and this is a strength of Swiss Group, offering an appropriately holistic approach with an entire raft of legal and management solutions, coupled with complementary services such as accounting and handling of family matters.
Swiss Group has had a presence in the UAE since the 1970s. We keep abreast of all company formation types, the rules, the regulations, the tax liabilities and the costs.
While at heart, we are a business consultancy, we are so much more than that. Consider Swiss Group a holistic, one-stop-shop offering all the services you might need to set up a business, legal advice, tax advice and accounting services, all under the auspices of a company rooted in Swiss reliability and precision. In short, Swiss Group offers a market-leading range of personalised advisory and management services, emphasising corporate and commercial matters.
Bringing all the business services you might need under one umbrella means saving time, effort and cost.
We counsel both private and corporate clients, assisting them in setting up a presence in the Middle East. Our long local experience means we deal proficiently with local authorities, ensuring smooth processes and streamlined bureaucracy. Where we can’t offer advice from our expert in-house teams, we call upon our network of suitable local partners for specific requirements, helping ease your burden while heightening our familiarity with sometimes complex business and regulatory environments.
With our in-depth knowledge of complex investment and company structures, we can offer expert analysis and understanding of various investment schemes - and impartially highlight any perceived shortcomings.
While we are based in Dubai, UAE, our team can converse in many languages – currently including English, Arabic, German, French, Spanish, Italian and Tagalog. Such multilingual capabilities have proved extremely valuable in our cross-border dealings. For example, we have assisted many clients who need language skills for matters such as foreign language document review or contractual matters.
Swiss ILC Services DMCC provides a wide range of comprehensive advisory, management, commercial and accounting services (including VAT handling) for corporates, multinationals, SMEs, and private clients.
This company specialises in helping people set up in the UAE, including matters such as:
• Setting up UAE companies (mainland, free zone, offshore)
• UAE residency visa services, and
• Family relocation services and real estate matter assistance.
We also offer a range of company migration services, including company migration from foreign jurisdictions to the UAE and help in upgrading from offshore to UAE onshore companies,
Regarding private and corporate tax matters, we can help obtain UAE tax residence certificates for private and corporate clients, assist with economic substance, AML and corporate tax and help with issues relating to double tax treaties.
When it comes to management and accounting, Swiss ILC Services can act as an outsourced arm of your company. We offer accounting services, including bookkeeping, banking relations, audit assistance and VAT registration and filing.
Many clients turn to us for our keen market expertise and insight. We continuously analyse and monitor the UAE business environment and help navigate the complexities of dealing with the local authorities.
Swiss International Legal Consultants Ltd is Swiss Group’s legal advisory arm. Our dedicated team of international and multilingual lawyers is proficient in general commercial and corporate law, employment, real estate and tax, and inheritance and family law matters.
Whether you need help in establishing a regulated or non-regulated entity in one of the UAE’s economic free zones or creating a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) or Foundation, for example, you can expect exemplary advice and efficient solutions.
Furthermore, our legal arm is there to act in your best interests regarding matters such as regulatory compliance, tax, insolvency, liquidation, receivership and administration. We can also offer Non-Muslim Will drafting services with our in-house registered Will draftsman.
We retain strong links with Switzerland, but, of course, work with global clients.
Switzerland and the UAE have long enjoyed close links. According to the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the UAE is Switzerland’s most important Middle East trading partner. Annual trading volume stands around CHF 20 billion. (AED76 bn). Switzerland mainly exports precious stones and metals, watches, jewellery and pharmaceutical products to the UAE and primarily imports precious stones, precious metals and jewellery from the country.
While we enjoy close trade links, the UAE is working with regional and international institutions and organisations to mitigate the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic, stimulate recovery and support sustainable economic growth.
Swiss Group wholly supports these endeavours, and we stand ready to serve you, whatever your business needs may be.